Pronouns

Pronouns

Read clear grammar explanations and example sentences to help you understand how pronouns are used. Then, put your grammar knowledge into practice by doing the exercises.  

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Submitted by Agape77 on Thu, 12/10/2023 - 20:02

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Hello,

I have a quick question. If someone says something should happen within a certain time period of something else happening, does it mean the first things should happen before or after the second thing? For example: "Complaints should be filed within 30 days of the end of the year". Does this mean complaints should be filed within 30 days before the end of the year or within 30 days after the end of the year?

To learn more about this sort of grammar, what do I search for in a dictionary?

Thanks.

Hello Agape77,

'Within thirty days of...' refers to the time after an event, so your example means that after the end of the year you have only 30 days to file a complaint (i.e. up to the end of January, more or less). However, if it is a very important matter I would always check with the other person/institution to be sure.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Hosseinpour on Tue, 08/08/2023 - 07:21

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Dear team hello,
Is there a difference between "everybody" and "everyone"? Is one of them more formal?
Thank you

Hello Hosseinpour,

There is no difference in meaning. Often people say that 'everyone' is more formal than 'everybody', but you can find both used in both formal and informal situations, so it's definitely not an important difference. I'd recommend you use whichever one you prefer (or even both in the same text) -- it will be fine.

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Sajatadib on Fri, 14/04/2023 - 19:39

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I can't wait to see the page.Until then,I don't know why " Here I am" and not " Here am I".Is it convention?

Hello Sajatadib,

When an adverbial of place (like 'here' or 'there') comes at the beginning of a clause and the verb in the clause is intransitive ('be', 'go' and 'come' are all intransitive, for example), then we also invert the subject and verb and put the adverbial first. This is why we 'Here comes the train' rather than 'Here the train comes'.

Following that rule, it seems we should say 'Here am I', but, as you suppose, this is not correct. This because when the subject is a pronoun, we use the normal word order. As far as I know there's no real reason for this, though perhaps it has some historical origin.

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Sajatadib on Thu, 13/04/2023 - 09:38

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Hello Sir,
I'm a bit confused about inversions;
Here I am.
Rarely dose he forget things.
If possible,provide a page about inversions.
Thanks in advance.

Hello Sajatadib,

There is a new page on Inversion and conditionals in the new C1 grammar section that I think you'd find useful.

The basic rule is to put the adverbial ('rarely') first, followed by the auxiliary verb ('does') and then the subject ('he') and then the rest of the sentence. If you have a more specific question, please let us know.

Best wishes,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Hamdy Ali on Mon, 23/01/2023 - 18:46

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How are you?
Why did the writer use who in this text?
It is from a school text
Caracals usually have between three and six
babies (called kittens), who stay with their mother for about ten months.

Hi Hamdy Ali,
Good question. People sometimes use "who" to refer to animals. This happens especially when people have a sentimental relationship with the animals (e.g., pets), or imagine the animals to have a personality similar to humans.
It is also possible to use "which". This sounds more factual.
Jonathan
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Mon, 21/11/2022 - 08:48

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Hello,I would like to ask the following
1.Every morning I dress up by myself or
Every day I dress up ?
Both sentences have the same meaning and are correct?which means I dress my self?
2.My mother drives me at school by car or my mom takes me at school by car?
Thank you in advance

Hi Nagie23,

1. They are both correct. They have a similar meaning, but the sentence with "by myself" emphasises the fact that this person does the action alone. However, it's a bit unusual to emphasise that because in most cases people do this by themselves, so the idea that I did it "by myself" is normally expected and understood, without needing to say so. The second sentence (without "by myself") would be more commonly used.

However, be aware of the meaning of "dress up". It means to put on special clothes for a special occasion (e.g. a wedding or a party). If you are referring to everyday clothes (e.g. to go to work or to relax at home), the usual verb is "get dressed".

2. You can say either "drives me" or "takes me ... by car". They have the same meaning. But it should be "to school" (not "at school").

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SonuKumar on Mon, 28/03/2022 - 09:58

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Sir,
All I need is four glasses.
All I need are four glasses.
What I need is four glasses.
What I need are four glasses.
Are all of these correct?

Hello SonuKumar,

Yes, all of these are possible.

'All' can have the sense of 'the only thing' or 'the only things'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SonuKumar on Tue, 23/11/2021 - 21:54

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Sir,
Both are a different thing.
Both are different things.
The two are a different thing.
The two are different things.
Are all of them correct and do they all mean the same thing ?

Hello SonuKumar,

In my view 'both' and 'The two' are plural, so the second and fourth sentences are possible (with 'different things').

'Both' and 'the two' strike me as redundant since if one of the items is different then both must be, but it is grammatically possible. I think a more natural option would be simply 'they'.

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by wigyan on Tue, 02/11/2021 - 02:41

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Respected sir,

1. All employees wished one another a happy new year.

2. All employees wished one another happy new year.

Which one is correct?
If 1 is wrong, why?

Hello wigyan,

I'd probably say 'a happy new year', but both of these are correct.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by wigyan on Wed, 27/10/2021 - 10:05

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Respected sir,

1. I have a dozen of doubts in this concept.
2. I have four dozen of oranges.

which sentence is correct?

Hi wigyan,

Actually, both sentences need a correction. It should be 'a dozen' + noun (without the article), e.g. 'a dozen doubts' and 'four dozen oranges'. :)

Jonathan
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Ei Thandar Kyaw on Fri, 13/08/2021 - 09:24

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Hello! I would like to check my answer from 'Discover your test' The question is The baby boy saw ... in the mirror and started to cry. I chose 'itself'. At that time I'm not sure.It is correct or not. Please kindly fix if my writing is wrong. Thank you in advance.
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Submitted by Jonathan R on Fri, 13/08/2021 - 15:39

In reply to by Ei Thandar Kyaw

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Hi Ei Thandar Kyaw,

I think himself is the most likely answer, since the sentence mentions 'boy'.

If the sentence was just The baby saw ... (without mentioning 'boy'), then 'itself' would be the best answer.

I hope that helps :)

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much for your answer.It is very helpful for me.When I answer that question i didn't noticed 'the baby boy' i thought it was 'the baby'.Next time i must read the question very carefully.
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Submitted by Imran 26 on Wed, 11/08/2021 - 16:54

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Dear Sir, Kindly explain me that, Mitigors & Intensifiers are Adjective of is that Adverb? I have read about in adjective section but I am still confuse to make sense about.
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Submitted by Peter M. on Thu, 12/08/2021 - 07:26

In reply to by Imran 26

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Hello Imran 26,

Mitgators and intensifiers are adverbs which are used to make adjectives weaker or stronger, respectively. They are in the adjectives section because they are used only with adjectives and not with verbs or as sentence adverbs.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
Which one is below the correct way to start English language?
1- Grammar, 2- Listening, 3- Speaking.

Submitted by Peace95 on Wed, 28/07/2021 - 16:45

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hi, I have a quick question: 1. Which of these sentence constrauctions is the correct one? - Here it is/Here I am - Here is it/Here am I. 2. Is it correct to say "It's I" or should it be "It's me"? Thanks.
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Submitted by Peter M. on Thu, 29/07/2021 - 06:48

In reply to by Peace95

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Hi Peace95,

The first sentence is correct. This is an example of inversion in which the adverb here is moved to the front, but there is no need to change the subject-verb order.

 

We say it's me not it's I. The same is true for other pronouns: it's him, it's them etc.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Tomi on Tue, 27/07/2021 - 22:14

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Hi, I'm a bit confused about the use of "I want to . . ." and "I wanted to . . " I sometimes hear people say "I wanted to" when they ought to say "I want to". For example, if you want to thank someone for his help, is it correct to say "I wanted to thank you for your help"? The fact is, you still (presently) want to thank him, so your desire to thank him is not in the past. Even if you have been thinking of thanking him since last week, you're still thinking of it today; so, it's in the present. In such a case, why would it be correct to say "I wanted to thank you" instead of simply saying "I want to thank you"?
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Wed, 28/07/2021 - 08:08

In reply to by Tomi

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Hello Tomi,

This is a great observation. You are right in thinking that 'wanted' really means 'want' in such cases. The reason people use a past form is because it is considered more polite.

Using a verb form that is more 'distant' in time from the actual time we are speaking about is one common way of being polite in English. So in this example, a past form is used to speak about the present. We use the past in this way particularly when expressing our desire to do something.

Another example is the use of 'would like' instead of 'want' -- 'would like' is more 'distant' than 'want' because it is more of an expression of a desire than a direct request. When, for example, people are at the counter at Tim Horton's, they generally say 'I'd like a coffee' instead of 'I want a coffee' to make their order because it is more polite.

Hope this helps you make sense of it.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much for the clarification. Very helpful.

Submitted by Agape77 on Tue, 27/07/2021 - 21:50

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Hi LearnEnglish Team, If I want to ask someone to use a camera to take photos of me, what is the grammatically correct way to make this request? Is there only one correct way of making the request, or are there multiple ways of saying it? For example, is it correct to say: - Could you take me a photo? - Could you snap me a photo? - Could you take a photo of me? - Could you take my picture? Thank you.

Hello Agape77,

Native speakers would probably use your third option and often we say 'picture' instead of 'photo', though there's nothing wrong with saying 'photo'. In general, the phrase I'd recommend is 'take a picture of', but of course you could change other parts of the request. For example, instead of 'Could you take', you could say 'Would you mind taking' or 'Could I ask you to take'.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Agape77 on Thu, 17/06/2021 - 15:55

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Hi, I have a quick question. If I put shoes on a child's feet, what would be the best way to say what I have done? Would it be correct to say "I wore him his shoes"? Thanks.
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Fri, 18/06/2021 - 10:18

In reply to by Agape77

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Hello Agape77,

We use 'wear' to talk about the clothing that a person has on their body. We usually use 'put on' to say what you mean: 'I put his shoes on' is what you should say here.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much for clarifying. I have one more question: If I put shoes on the feet of an adult (e.g., an elderly person), would it also be correct to say, 'I put his shoes on?' Wouldn't that be ambiguous in the sense that it could also mean that I put his shoes on me rather than on him?

Hello Agape77,

The answer to both of your questions is 'yes': yes, that would be correct in that situation, and yes, it could potentially be ambiguous. If you wanted to make it completely clear, you'd have to say something like 'I put his shoes on to protect his feet' or 'I put his shoes on because mine were dirty'.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello LearnEnglish Team, 1. I learned something new from your reply to Agape77's questions above. You say it could potentially be ambiguous to say "I put his shoes on" because it could mean I put the shoes on him or on me. But can't we avoid that ambiguity by simply saying "I put his shoes on me" or "I put his shoes on him"? 2. What's the difference between "try and" and "try to". For example, which of these two sentences is grammatically the correct? -I will try to do my homework. -I will try and do my homework. When do we use "try and" as opposed to "try to"? Thanks. Tomi.

Hi Tomi,

In answer to the first question, yes, you could use the sentences you suggested. I was just imagining different situations that the sentences might come up in with my suggestions, but yours are perfect as well.

As for your second question, 'try to' and 'try and' mean the same thing, but 'try and' is more informal. In informal situations, it's also common to hear 'and' instead of 'to' after 'wait' (e.g. 'Let's wait and see what happens').

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Risa warysha on Fri, 12/02/2021 - 14:13

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Hello, the Team Could you please explain the difference of these words "great number", "vast number", "large number"? Are they the same? And can they be followed by "of plural noun"? If so, what will be the verb, singular or plural form? Thank you very much

Hi Risa warysha,

Those three phrases with number mean the same thing. They all show that the number is very high. Yes, they can be followed by of and a plural noun, and the verb is usually plural. Here are some examples:

  • A great number of people pass through the station every day.
  • A large number of trees are cut down every day.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Can we say "Great numbers of people pass through the station every day"? Or "the great number(s) of people consuming alcohol has declined"? Is the second sentence logic?

Hello Risa warysha,

These sentences are grammatical and so you could use them from that point of view. I would probably choose other ways to phrase them, though, though it really depends on the situation.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Sorry, sir So what is the difference of the usage of these phrases: "great numbers of", "a great number of" and "the great number of" Thank you, sir
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Submitted by Jonathan R on Wed, 17/02/2021 - 15:29

In reply to by Risa warysha

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Hi Risa warysha,

In many cases, several of these phrases can be used, with similar meanings. For example, we could say:

  • A great number of people pass through the station every day.
  • Great numbers of people pass through the station every day.

There's only a slight difference: the second sentence implies that the number of people may change (e.g. on different days, or at different times), because the plural (Great numbers) means that there is more than one measurement of the number of people. It seems to describe the situation more generally. In many cases, though, this difference may not matter, and you could use either phrase.

These sentences also mean pretty much the same thing:

  • The great number of people consuming alcohol has declined.
  • The great numbers of people consuming alcohol has declined.

But the first one seems like it's describing a specific survey result, because it mentions The great number (i.e. a single, particular number). The second sentence seems like it's describing the situation more in general.

Does that make sense?

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Samin on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 05:32

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Hi team Kindly help about collective noun in the following sentences Japan is consists of many islands Here, consists of many islands - collective? He visited many countries of the world Is "countries of the the world" collective..or common- countries, world (both) World- common or proper?